The future of sustainable housing, in terms of quality, performance and choice for consumers, is soon to experience further categorisation, as BRE (the Building Research Establishment) sets about developing a voluntary sustainability standard for new homes.
The standard will be designed to allow developers to differentiate their product within the marketplace, enabling performance and features above and beyond minimum regulations to be recognised.
Helping to create a clearer vision of homes for the future, the new standard will be developed for UK markets and adaptable for specific local circumstances.
In devising the guidelines, BRE is keen to incorporate views of consumers, as well as those involved within the wider construction industry – such as manufacturers of building products – to create a fuller remit of what should be addressed.
The organisation, which offers impartial research, knowledge and advice to Government, industry and businesses in achieving better buildings, communities and businesses intends for the standard to function using an easy to comprehend, consumer focused rating system. As well as setting parameters for quality and function, it will also serve to tackle the performance gap issue, whereby if homes are not performing as designed, a course of action for the home owner to take can be recommended.
BRE has identified what it considers to be the critical issues that need addressing to better the builds of the future. Among them are:
- resilience to adverse and extreme weather
- mental and physical health & wellbeing of occupants
- resource efficiency
- increased biodiversity
- low energy, water and maintenance costs
- improved connectivity